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recognizeAs this past April unfolded with sunshine and unusual warm air for the month, I reflected on the events of an Easter time so long ago and their meaning for us in today’s world.

I was struck by the fact that Mary had trouble recognizing Jesus as did the disciples on the way to Emmaus. He was transformed. Stories were told of Him entering locked rooms, appearing and disappearing at will. He was no longer circumscribed by time and space.

The second person of the Blessed Trinity who took on our human life for those 33 years as a Jewish man living in a country dominated by Roman rule obviously did not rise from the tomb encumbered with that human body.

In Paul’s writings, we find a glimpse of an explanation. “When everything is reconciled in Him…God will be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28) “There is only Christ. He is everything and He is in everything.” (Colossians 3:11) “All fullness is found in Him, through Him all things are reconciled, everything in heaven and everything on earth.” (Colossians 1:19–20)

Richard Rohr refers to this mystery as “the Cosmic Christ who always was, who became incarnate in time, and who is still being revealed” to us in our daily lives.

We too, like Mary and the disciples on the road to Emmaus, have difficulty recognizing this Christ in our world today. He who is “all in all” in us, and all of created matter speaks our name each day in myriads of ways with the same love and compassion He addressed Mary. He invites us to recognize Him in one another and our whole created world.

So on days warm and bright with sunshine, I know His presence in nature, in the beauty of the bursting forth of spring flowers.

At the same time, I am reminded that when Jesus came to Thomas in that locked room, He still bore the signs of His suffering.

This Christ is “all in all”, He is present “all in all”, both in the beauty and in the dark suffering of our world.

Let us recognize His redeeming presence and rejoice in it.

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